Occupy protesters prepare to resist eviction from park

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Despite an approaching deadline set by the mayor and police chief, few of the anti-Wall Street protesters from Occupy Los Angeles had begun taking down their tents yesterday on the City Hall lawn, and most said they didn't intend to.

Dozens of people at the Occupy LA encampment attended a meeting on how stay safe in the face of rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray when the authorities come today at 12:01am (0801 GMT).

The mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, announced on Friday that despite his sympathy for the protesters' cause, it was time for the camp of nearly 500 tents to leave for the sake of public health and safety.

The mayor said the movement is at a "crossroads", and it must "move from holding a particular patch of park to spreading the message of economic justice".

But Will Picard, who sat on Saturday in a tent amid his artwork with a "notice of eviction" sign posted outside, said most occupiers he knows intend to stay. "Their plan is to resist the closure of this encampment and if that means getting arrested so be it," he said. AP

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